Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy holidays everybody..

Thank you for your interest in my blog. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy a happy new year!

Stay tuned!


the computers are finally here!!

The computers, hubs, antennas, cables, nuts & bolts and all the computer accessories that were shipped from holland to tanzania are well received. Togather with Joseph we collected our stuff from Hekima secondary school.

the hubs are being unwrapped and getting readied for deployment. They sure will be a huge boast to building good local area networks for secondary schools.

Lucy Zawadi, a computer instructor at FADECO telecentre examing the best hubs to deploy in her computer lab.

John (author), showing a satisfied smile at having the hubs finally & safely their destination. The hard work of picking them up from friends in holland is finally done.

Big thanks to all the guys of,, Peter Kremer, Jos & Lineke, Bauke, JPD, marko & mariska, bas lebbing, martin junginger & all wellwishers who sacrificed their time & equipment to contribute towards the success of ICTs in east africa.

asante sana!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pictures of Dar es salaam

The wireless satellite dishes linking Satcom networks & their clients to the rest of the world.

Wireless networking in much more utilisation in Dar. This is a mast installed on top of satcom networks building, Dar es salaam.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Building Voice Infrastructure ebook released!

IT +46, a swedish company announced on the 4th dec, the release of a new guide to support the spread of low-cost communications in the poorest parts of the world. This free guide to Voice over IP (voip), available in four major languages, is an effort to disseminate the use of telephony over the Internet in developing regions.

The 40-page guide targets both technical and non-technical readers. The first part presents the essentials of telephony over the Internet. For those interested in the more technical details, hands-on guidelines and configuration files are included in the second part. The examples provide essential background to build your own low-cost telephony system.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the Acacia Initiative of the International Development Research Centre, idrc, of Canada.

Download the guide here,

Friday, December 15, 2006

telecentre management workshop, 12th - 14th dec

The International Centre for Science and High Technology, ICS, based in trieste, Italy togather with the United Nations Industrial development, UNIDO, organisation organised a workshop at Hotel Africana, Kampala - Uganda with a theme, telecentre management: a perspective on energy from renewable sources. Participants included: Nicola Drago (ICS/UNIDO consultant), Alexander Varghese (UNIDO east african chief), Prof. V. K. Damodaran (mini-hydro expert), Danner Walter (biomass expert), Ramesh dharmaraj (photovoltaic expert), Ministry of ICTs - Uganda, Uganda Investment authority represatatives, telecentre representatives from Uganda, Kenya and tanzania.

Presentations on renewable energy options available to telecentres included photovoltaic, mini-hydro, palm oil (vegetable oil) and biomass energy. Telecentre managers were asked to identify resources (streams, agricultural residues, coffee husks, organic waste etc) in their communities that could be used to generate electricity to run a fully ICT-based telecentre in the remote communities where they are based. A case study specially discussed in the workshop included a mini-hydro 10kW power project implemented by UNIDO in partnership with Tatedo in Kinko village, lushoto district, Tanga - Tanzania. The project was successfully completed and now supplies a telecentre and another 100 households with 24 hours electricity.

Daner Walter giving his presentation on how to best utilise biomass in electricity production. He mentioned that we have quite a huge number of landfills around but uncontrolled & thus energy cannot be harvested from them.

John Kibuuka (writer), fadeco telecentre, seated next to Felician Ncheye of Sengerema telecentre, tanzania.

Recommendations from the workshop included;
-Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to help with reduction of taxes, levies etc
-Merge together to buy equipment for instance solar panels, etc
-ICT policy, its revolving, suggestion is to keep in touch, the policy gives the rules,
-Technical presentations: photovoltaic, mini hydro, biomass. There needs to be a plan. Think about energy planning for the telecentre. To optimize energy turn off the lights, devices that are not being used should be switched off!
-With power rationing – business is greatly reduced, no service to the telecentre customers. Hybrid solution could supplement the available grid power when its not available.
-Fluctuation & failure of energy. Backup systems & types should be set up to have consistent power supplied to the telecentre machines
-Technical know-how to the telecentre managers – Recommendation is to equip the telecentre managers confident in the handling of the machines at the centres especially on the maintenance & design of the systems handled
-Garbage can be sorted, graded & used to generate income out of it. This can be used in the biomass digester
-Comparing diesel & palm oil, vegetable oil is that the money stays within the country, farmers are paid for the job and the workers too.

Telecentre managers should identify renewable energy sources in their communities, UNIDO is a willing partner to find appropriate funding for the project. Am glad to have been among the participants & presenters at the workshop.


ICTfundi workshop, 7th - 8th dec, Dar

The International Institute for Communication and Development, IICD, organised a workshop bringing togather experts in tanzania with various skills in ICTs for a 2 day workshop in Dar es salaam. The group which agreed to be called ICTfundi (fundi is swahili word which means one who repairs things).

Bernadette Huizinga, IICD officer, in the background. She guides the group on the way towards working togather to bring better ICT services to the region.

Some of the experts very attentive to understand how they can bring their rich experience towards making ICT services easily available. From Left to right, Andrew (NPK technologies), Dogan Gusera (University computing centre), Mark Farahani (kilosa telecentre) and John Kibuuka (fadeco telecentre).

The group has an active dgroups mailing list and continually post messages regarding ICTs on it...

IICD roundtable workshop, 4th dec

The International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), a non-profit that specialises in information and communication technologies (ICTs) organised a roundtable workshop to discuss issues affecting sustainability of telecentres.

This is entire team debating issues at tilapia hotel, mwanza (tanzania). Hirnoy Bamerdas (standing) is giving his presentation on how mwanza is covered by wifi signals. We had representatives from IICD in foreground: Bernadette Huizinga, Richard Fischer & Miep Lenoir. The other participants were: Naomi Masella (Cromabu telecentre - mwanza), Charles Ngatigwa (Mazingira telecentre - shinyanga), Mark Farahani (Kilosa telecentre - kilosa), Joyce Mutta (kibengwe telecentre - Bukoba), A. Karsan (union of tanzania press club - chairman) & John Kibuuka (FADECO telecentre - Karagwe)

Bernadette & Richard taking a moment to let the issues affecting telecentres in the rural areas in tanzania fully sink in.

The entire group taking time off in the evening after a long day.

Some of the conclusions at the workshop was to form a national telecentre network linking all telecentre managers in the country and encourage more telecentre-to-telecentre visits as way of learning from eachother. With the newly formed relationships & friendships, everybody was pledging support towards helping eachother towards providing information to the rural communities wherever we may be based.